Press-Republican

Columns

July 1, 2011

Much ado about the royals

So far we have heard no reports out of Los Angeles that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be accosted by a mob of Tea Party supporters with a festering grievance against King George when they visit there next week.

Of course, the U.S.A.'s beef with the Brits was settled some 235 years ago with a clash of arms and, save for the occasional burst of belligerence, namely the War of 1812, and some meddling in the Civil War, it's been cross-pond harmony ever since.

Up north, though, and specifically Quebec, it's another story. One espies on telephone poles in our neighborhood of Quebec City posters with the slogan "William Degage!" roughly translated as "get lost" or "clear out." The posters are the work of the Reseau de Resistance du Quebecois (RRQ), a group agitating for the separation of Quebec from the rest of Canada.

The RRQ is calling for those opposed to the royal visit and all things monarchical to turn up in front of city hall in Quebec City on Sunday - where William will receive the symbolic keys to the city - to voice their displeasure. One sympathizer blogs that "the Quebec people remember these people whose armies bombarded the city of Quebec for more than three months" - back in 1759 that was. (And, to be fair, whose armies saved Quebec from American invasion on several occasions, not to mention coming to the aid of mother France in two World Wars)

Given the tradition of radical secessionist groups in Quebec showing up at certain federal-friendly ceremonies it's no surprise the RRQ is pulling out the stops - including hiring its own security squad - to get the attention of the global media at such a massively high profile event as the visit of the world's most famous couple.

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